The annual meeting was called to order at 8:17 PM by Jeff Gough after 1.25 hours of the board and other IA residents calling, texting, and emailing neighbors to get more votes to achieve a quorum, which thankfully we were able to do.
Board members present: Jeff Gough, Cindy Esselman, Maggie Taber, Brian Branagan, Jim McCulloch, Steve Johnston, and BJ Oneal.
274 IA residents ended up voting for this year’s annual meeting (we need 270 for a quorum). There were 36 total Annual Meeting Zoom participants (including the 7 board members).
Jeff made a motion to approve the 2020 Annual Meeting Minutes, which was seconded and passed unanimously.
BJ announced that since Easton resigned recently due to selling his home and moving from the neighborhood, we will be electing three officer positions to the board for this coming term. Brian Branagan and Jim McCulloch are both at the end of their terms and are not re-running so the candidates with the top two number of votes will fill the three-year roles of Brian and Jim. Then the third-place candidate will fill the remainder of Easton’s term (one year). BJ discussed the pros and cons of online voting this year. Of the 274 total votes, about 45 were paper mail-in ballots and the rest were cast via the website.
Jeff called for any nominations from the floor and there were none.
All three candidates, Jason Barth, Mary Ruhlman, and Bruce Vincent gave brief candidate statements and the community had an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates.
Jeff and BJ briefly discussed the other issues on the ballot (i.e., Activities board member, 2021 budget, and 2021 dues). After that, the community was asked to cast any lingering votes at that point. Then BJ and Stacey Pedersen (IA resident and volunteer for the Annual Meeting voting process) went to review all votes and current board members provided their respective reports as such:
LEGAL REPORT AND TREASURER REPORT, Jeff Gough
In addition to advising on general matters, in 2020 Club attorneys spent focused time on the following:
1. Remodel fees: Researched and advised on fees for remodel applications/review.
2. Joseph property compliance: advised on compliance issues and advised on application issues.
3. Stewardship/Vegetation Management Plan Code Amendment: Based on recurrent City de facto VMP for the Seattle Golf Club, advised IAC and yet again raised with the City the topic of adopting a VMP provision applicable to more than just one club.
4. BNSF Crossing: Prompted in part by State inquiries, worked with title company on how crossing was established and under what legal arrangements. The state inquiries seem to have been satisfied.
5. Highlands: Researched ownership and assisted IAC in addressing an issue that periodically arises, this time with the Highlands posting no trespassing signs and Highlands staff discouraging IAC members from access along the south side of Boeing Creek, over the bridge, and through the tunnel. IAC President Easton Craft spoke with Highlands leaders and the issue seems to have been resolved, at least for now.
6. Storm Creek: Working with the City on a proposed Agreement for construction of a $1 million Storm Creek remedial project. There remain issues regarding easements, releases, and maintenance obligations to be worked out in the Agreement. We have sent a revised version back to the City just recently.
7. Hjelle: Still-pending compliance matter. Hjelle’s attorneys have indicated that she will bring one of the trees in question into compliance and is in various states of permitting for other non-compliant vegetation that needs addressing on the property.
8. Meetings: Advising IAC on conduct of meetings in time of COVID and Governor’s proclamations.
Ended the year financially strong adding $41k to our bank account and an additional $145k to fully fund our Asset Reserve.
At the close of December and the 2020 year, our Operating Checking was $6,128, Collections Savings was $37,162 and the Asset Reserve Savings was $441,131.
2020 Tax Return and audit are underway by JH Vandal.
Have held multiple meetings with the Swim Club board, exploring the possibility of consolidating them with the HOA. This would not be intended to have a direct impact on the HOA or Swim Club – not about dues going one way or another. Rather about finding a better organizational structure within the Innis Arden umbrella and finding potential synergies with events, activities, resources, insurance coverage, and the like.
BUILDING AND REMODEL, Cindy Esselman
Due to COVID19, we were unable to review Building and Remodel submittals for a few months. We thank those families who were impacted for your patience and understanding.
Once we were able to meet and review again it quickly became a very busy year. The Board reviewed and approved five complete rebuild projects, in addition to three remodels. There were three solar panel placement projects, two decks, one shed and one fence.
Looking forward to 2021, we already have a complete rebuild on the agenda for February. We have also been contacted by two additional homeowners who are looking to rebuild as well.
We are looking forward to updating information on the website for Building and Remodels as well as continuing to digitize and archive projects in 2021.
CLUBHOUSE, Brian Branagan –
2021 Innis Arden Annual Meeting Clubhouse Report
Clubhouse rentals were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The clubhouse has been closed for public rentals since March 9, 2020. I would like to thank Cheryl Malone, the Clubhouse Manager, for working closely with Innis Arden residents and community members to reschedule their events into 2021 or issue refunds.
The clubhouse was used in January for the 2020 Innis Arden Club Annual Meeting. February events held in the clubhouse included a morning exercise class, a memorial service, and the first Innis Arden Living Resource Fair, which was attended by over 60 Innis Arden residents. The Activities Committee set up for the Rummage Sale for the first weekend in March but decided to hold just a “flash sale” open to Innis Arden residents on Friday, March 6, 2020 because of growing concerns over the safety of residents and the public getting the virus.
There are no scheduled clubhouse rentals in 2021 because the King County Department of Public Health classifies Innis Arden as a community-based organization, and we cannot open the clubhouse for community use until King County enters Phase 4 which allows gathering for events with 50 or more attendees. The Department of Public Health staff member I talked with told me that the 50 attendees will be interpreted to mean family members would have already been operating as shared pods.
On November 5th, several teenagers spread green paint on the east side of the clubhouse and on the concrete area near the tennis courts. I filed a police report along with pictures from our security camera to the Shoreline Police Department. The damage was repaired at a cost of over $600.
GROUNDS, Jim McCulloch –
Annual Grounds Report
2020 Objectives for the Grounds Committee:
• Maintain and improve the existing lawn and planting beds around the Clubhouse.
• Maintain the Innis Arden Main Entrance and other Innis Arden Entrances.
• Improve lawn areas by removing moss and re-seeding.
• Investigate Capital Repairs/Replacement for Parking Lot Railing and NW Retaining Wall.
Accomplishments for 2020:
o AS Landscaping continued to provide excellent service at a good value for the club, maintaining and improving the Grounds and Entrance areas. Renewed their contract for two more years (2020/2021) with a 5% increase in unit costs for 2021.
o Continued removal of invasive plants (blackberries/ivy/laurel).
o Continued cleaned up of triangle area by adding paths and placing chips on paths and bare areas.
o Completed the year under budget, including improvements to irrigation system and lawn area.
o The irrigation system update continued with replacement of some old heads and addition of sprinkler heads around the sports court and some planting areas. Water use again came in below budget.
o The middle portion of the lawn area was thatched and over seeded.
o Trees and shrubs were pruned and thinned throughout.
o Pressure washed tennis and sport courts.
o Solar lights were added to illuminate the Innis Arden Club House rock sign.
o Playground was closed most of the summer due to COVID; re-opened in the fall
o Provided major pruning/shaping of grasses, trees, shrubs.
o Added edging and cobbles around the secondary entrance stones/art works stop encroachment of surrounding vegetation.
o Added edging along 8th Ave NW to stop invasive plant growth into entrance area.
o Added Christmas lights to main entrance.
• Capital Improvements (Reserve Fund Expenditures)
o No Capital Improvements this past year.
o It was estimated to cost between $160,000-$200,000 for replacement of the retaining wall located at the NW corner of the Grounds. This included the following:
-$6,000 for Geotech evaluation
-$8-10,000 for engineering
-$125,000-165,000 for construction, depending on wall type.
o Parking lot railing: No estimate was received for replacement/repair of the existing railing due to lack of response from possible rail fabricators. An estimate to replace the railing with a 4’ chain link fence, securing the whole grounds area, including five gates with locks, was $56,000.
• ROW Trees
• Removed three (3) ROW trees that impacted sound/mountain views at one (1) location, replacing with shorter growing trees; received permit for one (1) additional location, tree removal/replacement scheduled for early 2021.
NATURAL RESERVES, Steve Johnston –
Hello everyone. I would like to take a few minutes to review Natural Reserves management for the past year.
Please feel free to contact me offline for additional information or with questions about the Reserves: firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, which froze contractor and consultant work for months and delayed responses from the city of Shoreline, we were able to keep the Reserves open, safe, and well-maintained. It is very satisfying to see so many of us out of our houses and using the trails — walking, running and otherwise enjoying the Reserves.
The Board’s goals for Reserve management are to:
• Enhance safety, recreation and value through trail maintenance, native vegetation and habitat improvement
• Aid view recovery and protection, in part through the planting of low-to-mid-sized native trees to succeed older trees, helping to create a lower, native, wildlife-friendly canopy that won’t obstruct Sound and mountain views.
Invasive Control and Replanting
Through our knowledgeable and effective native-plant and invasive control contractor, Garden Cycles LLC, in 2020 we planted approximately 250 small to mid-sized native trees like Cascara and Shore Pine and shrubs such as Sword Fern and Oregon grape in the 5 northernmost Reserves and we anticipate ramping up to even more extensive planting in the fall. We also continued long-term and new invasive control initiatives in well over 50 areas in the Reserves, which will be ongoing in 2021. These efforts improve habitat by targeting a whole host of invasive weeds and shrubs which compete with native plants and destroy wildlife habitat, and they open up new planting sites. Plants in scope for control and removal include Scotch Broom, English Ivy, Knotweed, Himalayan Blackberry, English Laurel, English Holly, European Bird Cherry, Italian Alum, Yellow Archangel and Hogweed.
Maintenance and Improvements
We make it a priority to keep the trails open, accessible, safe and appealing. Here are some of actions taken during 2020:
• We posted new No-Trespassing signs at all Reserve trail access points, after consulting with the club attorney, to help prevent potential homeless encampments.
Boeing Creek Reserve
• We fixed the sticky pedestrian gate and provided gate keys
• Replaced the vehicle gate lock and chain several times which was broken due to vandalism, and cleaned up garbage after beach parties
• Worked with the Highlands management concerning trail access rights
• Established an official US Dept. of Transportation number for the pedestrian tunnel (Thanks Jeff!)
• Removed dumped construction debris from the entrance area
• Cut numerous fallen trees from the trail
• We replaced and relocated the upper pedestrian bridge because of stream bank erosion
• As of today (Jan. 20th, 2021) there is a new middle pedestrian bridge in Eagle Reserve west of the old location. The original bridge was undermined by stream bank erosion and fell into the creek at the end of December. You can once again travel end to end though this Reserve without fording the stream
• A new section of trail was cut into the hill on the north side of the creek to connect the new bridge to the old trail. It will be improved with gravel, steps and handrails in the coming weeks
I would like to commend Adrian Sibaya and his A. S. Landscaping crew for building the new bridge and trail so quickly and skillfully. These guys do a terrific job with our trail work and grounds landscaping; I cannot say enough good things about them!
Blue Heron Reserve
• Removed several fallen trees from the trail
• Extended the small footbridge near 14th Ave NW
• Closed the maintenance trail west of the Ronald Sewer District bridge in the ravine at Blue Heron’s west end due to landslide danger
Grouse and Bear Reserves
• Routine maintenance as needed
• Weed-whacked vegetation near trails as needed
• Replaced gravel and repaired steps
• Picked up garbage as needed
• Repaired and installed steps and handrails as needed
• We removed at least half a dozen fallen trees from the trails
• As mentioned earlier, the pandemic stalled required City reviews of hazardous tree reports, so we were unable to remove hazardous trees in 2020. Due to stream bank erosion a number of trees in Blue Heron and Eagle Reserve are leaning severely and some are likely to fall onto the trails. There are also a number of diseased, previously-topped alder trees in Blue Heron, and dying Alders in upper Eagle threatening the trails. Finally, there is a PNW area-wide Big Leaf Maple die-off which has affected a number of trees, mostly in Blue Heron some of which are near the trails. This year we will be working to replace these hazardous trees as needed. As always, new trees will be planted as mitigation whenever trees are removed.
Storm Creek Outflow Erosion
As Jeff mentioned in the Presidents report, we are near to finalizing an agreement concerning the long-awaited Storm Creek outflow erosion mitigation Plan. Lawyers on all sides are currently hammering out easement details.
Forest Management Agreement
Despite a moving City goal post and other obstacles to securing some sort of reasonable Forest Management agreement for the Reserves doing so is still a very high priority for 2021
We very much look forward to continuing our work to improve the Reserves in this new year. It has been rewarding on a personal level to see so many friends and neighbors out there and I thank you very much for the opportunity to make things better.
ACTIVITIES, Maggie Taber –
In February, the Activities Committee participated in the Innis Arden Community Resource Fair. A great event for residents to learn about our neighborhood activities as well as local services and home resources.
The 2020 Rummage Sale was supposed to be Saturday/Sunday, March 7th & 8th. An amazing team of volunteers had everything ready to go. Due to Covid-19 we made the difficult decision to cancel. An abbreviated sale was offered on Friday afternoon/evening. Heartfelt thanks to all who volunteered! The good news is that we were able to raise about half our usual proceeds. The Rummage Sale is Activities major source of funds.
The Tennis program was able to go forward with modifications during Covid. A very welcome outside activity! The tennis program falls under the Activities Committee and is financially self-sufficient.
Activities meetings for the rest of the year were distanced in person or via Zoom. We reached out to neighbors in need and helped provide networks for assistance.
For Halloween we held a Toddler Halloween Parade around the Clubhouse tract and a neighborhood Trick-or-Treating map.
We ended the year looking for some holiday cheer with Santa’s Sleigh Ride and a Home Decorating Contest.
Happy New Year – Here’s getting back together in 2021!!!
Outcome of Voting:
Mary Ruhlman obtained 216 votes and has a three-year appointment to the board.
Bruce Vincent obtained 187 votes and has a three-year appointment to the board.
Jason Barth obtained 121 votes and has a one-year appointment to the board (to fulfill Easton Craft’s term).
Maggie Taber was ratified as the Activities board member with 258 votes (10 abstain, 2 no).
The 2021 budget was approved with 254 yes votes (8 abstain, 10 no).
The 2021 dues (which are unchanged from 2020) were approved with 256 votes (6 abstain, 12 no).
The board then went offline to join a separate executive session Zoom meeting to determine 2021 board positions which are as such:
President: Jeff Gough
Vice President/Compliance Chair: BJ Oneal
Treasurer: Jason Barth
Activities: Maggie Taber
Building and Remodel: Cindy Esselman
Clubhouse: Mary Ruhlman
Secretary/Legal Affairs: Dave Fosmire
Reserves: Steve Johnston
Grounds: Bruce Vincent
Other Important Information:
Jeff made a motion for an executive session to review pending legal matters with the new board which was seconded and unanimously passed scheduled for Tuesday 1/26/21 at 6PM by Zoom.
A neighbor thanked the board for volunteering to support the neighborhood and working hard to uphold IA covenants.
The Annual Meeting was adjourned approximately 10:10 PM.